Chicago homeowner displays flags of countries still vying for World Cup

Another wild result in a World Cup that's been full of them, as Morocco knocked Spain out of the games with a dramatic penalty kick on Tuesday.

This is Morocco’s first time in the quarterfinals since 1970.

Team USA was unfortunately knocked out the games this past weekend, so which teams are still vying for the global bragging rights?

Well, if you live in Lincoln Square, you don’t need to check the newspaper or go online — just take a look at Scott Fecho’s house.

Since 2012, Fecho has been celebrating the men’s and women’s World Cups by tying flags of the participating countries along the fence line of his house at the corner of Leland and Leavitt.

"It’s just been enjoyable to have these out there to let people know ‘hey, this is going on,’" Fecho said.


As Block Club Chicago first reported, Fecho is a huge international soccer fan and former high school player who wants to raise awareness of what is called the biggest tournament in all of sports.

When the World Cup started two weeks ago, the fence in front of Fecho’s house was filled with flags from all 32 participating countries. As each team is eliminated, Fecho removes their country’s flag from the fence — which means by Tuesday afternoon, only eight flags remained — paired according to the upcoming games.

"It’s surprising," Fecho said. "I was not expecting to get the attention it’s got. So that’s been a cool experience to go through. And just to see the fun of everybody excited to see the flags out here."

Indeed, it’s become a neighborhood attraction for the dog walkers, motorists and even passengers on the Brown Line train that rumbles past his home.

Nicole Ricciardi took note of the flags as she walked past holding a cup of coffee.

"Just as a reminder that these things are going on, and this is one of those events that brings the whole world together," she said.

"It’s a lot of fun," said neighbor Jeff Kemerley. "My kids play soccer so they’ve had a lot of fun seeing it. And we get to talk about each flag and which country it represents. They’re learning flags too so it’s kind of fun for the kids too."

Fecho said he plans to "Keep going until there’s one (flag) left, and then I’ll have that up for a couple days in celebration of winning it all. And then it will be back to an empty fence again."

Fecho says he buys the flags online for about $7 apiece, and while he already has a large stash of countries, he may need to get more, depending on who gets into the women’s World Cup next year.

"My hope is just to bring more attention to it. Chicago is a pretty good town when it comes to watching soccer. It's amazing now all the different places you can go to watch the games," Fecho said.